learning as a librarian: the strangest semester ever comes to an end. what’s next?

I have turned in the last of my assignments, and I should be celebrating the end of another successful semester in grad school, while preparing to help the students at SMU face another grueling finals week through events at Fondren Library.

Instead, I have been helping them find access to resources online, and we have been brainstorming ideas on how to connect with Mustangs as they are spread around the world, rather than gathering in our learning commons. Seniors prepare to graduate without being surrounded by friends, most likely without a job to look forward to or plans for the fall.

It is strange to come to the end of term with a whisper instead of a bang.

I live close to campus, and my family took a drive around the quad this past weekend. It didn’t look all that different from the above photo — two students were tossing a Frisbee back and forth. Someone was relaxing in a hammock. A child was riding a bike with her family.

And then I looked closer. Half of the groups were families, and only one or two clusters were made of college-age students. Everyone was at least six feet apart, and none of the women were wearing any makeup. No group was bigger than four people. Most people looked more exhausted than relaxed.

It’s wearying to not know how or when to move forward. The governor is apparently starting to open the state back up tomorrow, but universities aren’t mentioned in the plan, only public libraries. While I know that SMU is making tentative plans as they learn more about local and state governments are proposing, I worry about the possible spikes I have read as predicted if we open the campus too soon. And then I see the other end of the pendulum — the predicted loss of students whether or not we reopen, particularly of international students, and whether higher education can survive at all if campuses don’t reopen by August. And if we do open, what will it be like?

Perhaps there is a downside to all of this information? (That’s so strange to say as an information student.)

Today, I will take a deep breath and celebrate what I have accomplished and completed. Tomorrow, I’ll return to work, and at the end of the day, I’ll do the same. I’ll keep doing that until things change. Or they continue to remain the same.

After all, tomorrow is another day.

Associated Press. (2020, April 7). Even if campuses open this fall, colleges worry many students won’t return. MarketWatch. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/even-if-campuses-reopen-this-fall-colleges-worry-many-students-wont-return-2020-04-07

Cher, A. (2020, April 14). Countries risk second wave of coronavirus infections by easing restrictions too early, says expert. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/14/countries-risk-second-wave-of-coronavirus-infections-by-easing-restrictions-too-early-says-expert.html

Garrett, R. T., Morris, A., & Barragan, J. (2020, April 27). Gov. Greg Abbott’s stay at home order expires Thursday, and many Texas businesses may open Friday. Dallas Morning News. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/public-health/2020/04/27/gov-greg-abbott-set-to-announce-relaxing-of-coronavirus-restrictions-on-texas-business/

Paxson, C. (2020, April 26). College campuses must reopen in the fall. Here’s how we do it. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/26/opinion/coronavirus-colleges-universities.html

Wood, G. (2020, April 27). There’s no simple way to reopen universities. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/colleges-are-weighing-costs-reopening-fall/610759/

physiquality blog: working out while staying at home

I think we can all admit that we’re a little stir crazy at this point. My household has been quarantining for a month, and even the dog jumps at the chance to get outside. And she’s a bulldog — she hates exercise.

I liked that the advice from our physical therapist members focused on living healthy and keeping the best habits we can. While some of us might be able to write King Lear while avoiding the plague, most of us are in survival mode. But I do want to create the best habits I can knowing that this could last at least another month, and knowing that exercise is not only good for the body, but also the mind.

Working out while staying at home

with advice from Coury and Buehler Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy and Wellness Institute, Rocklin Physical Therapy, and Strive Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation

It might seem hard to look on the bright side these days. News is grim, and it looks like most of us will need to stay socially distant for some time. For people who rely on exercise classes to stay healthy, it’s another loss on top of the interactions we had at work or school.

But even in this challenging time there are plenty of ways to stay positive and healthy. Coury and Buehler Physical Therapy, a Physiquality member in Orange County, California, reminds us that it’s important to create a new routine to get ourselves through a stay-at-home order. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but by simply getting up at the same time every day (even if it’s a little later than it used to be), showering and making your bed will help you approach each day with a more positive outlook.

Exercising regularly in particular can help both your mental and physical health. Many healthcare professionals are finding ways to help us stay well while staying at home. Here are some examples of how physical therapy clinics in the Physiquality network are helping people at home:

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!